Victoria, All Grown Up
With WrestleMania 23 being "All Grown Up," WWE.com has spoken to several WWE Superstars and Divas who have also grown up and have come a long way since the days before their WWE careers. Take a look back at a young Victoria.
Victoria's heart was filled with a drive to succeed ever since she was a little girl. Whether it was childhood performances, academics, athletics, cheerleading or becoming a WWE Diva and two-time Women's Champion, Victoria has always given her all.
"When I do look back on it, when I was a little girl, way before high school and cheerleading and all that, I used to perform in front of my mom and dad and my brothers, and any guest who came over. I would sing. I wanted to be a singer," she said.
"I would sing like Osmond Brothers songs -- I'm aging myself -- Shawn Cassidy, John Travolta and all that kind of stuff. I really thought I was a Diva. Donna Summer, move aside, I was going to take over!" Victoria reminisced.
As Victoria grew up, her determination grew stronger as she became involved in athletics and cheerleading in school.
"I had three older brothers, so sports were really strong in my family. I ran track. In cheerleading, I excelled. I was a gymnast. Everything I was involved with -- not to be conceited -- but I was very good in what I did. I always gave 110 percent in what I did," she said.
Victoria credits her brother, Bobby, with paving the way for her success.
"My oldest brother was an Olympic wrestler, so he set the pace for my family. He was a good role model. He was excellent in school. He excelled in everything," she explained. "That was a good seed put into me. Everything I did paved the way for me to be what I am today in WWE. And I am proud to say I am good at what I do."
While Victoria said it's very important for children to be physically active, it's also imperative to get a good education. Victoria studied biology at several colleges: Riverside Community, Loma Linda University and UCLA. Victoria worked at the Inland Eye and Tissue Bank in Redlands, Calif., for three years. Thanks to her studies, she became the physically fit, strong Diva she is today.
"It was very rewarding. I removed organs for transplantation. I rated them for quality. I asked families for permission for donation. I placed the tissue. I did everything from A to Z. It got me appreciating health and fitness," Victoria said.
"A lot of people pass away from high blood pressure. It got me a little scared because heart problems run in my family. I started working out and teaching aerobics. I got addicted," she explained. "Once I started lifting, my body completely changed. I saw a little bit of muscle and I was sucked in from there. I year later, I completed my first body building show."
Victoria went on to be a fitness model, and later became interested in sports-entertainment. Today, the confident Victoria is considered one of WWE's most formidable Divas.
"I still feel like I'm learning. I still watch the matches. I still ask the guys about matches and why they do certain things. I'm always trying to learn and better myself," she said. "I'm never satisfied in the ring. I watch my performance. I'm never ecstatic about what I do -- I know I can do better next time. I think that's what makes me an excellent athlete."
While Victoria said succeeding in the sports-entertainment business takes a lot of hard work and perseverance, the Divas have to be strong and confident, as well.
"I want little girls to look at me as, yeah, I'm a T-and-A, but I can freakin' kick your ass, too. And I have some smarts behind me," she said. "So I'm a well-rounded individual. I want little girls to look up to me and say, ‘You know what? I could do that,' and believe in themselves."